Academic journal article Making Connections

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Academic journal article Making Connections

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Article excerpt

Lyrics of One Version of the Song: Some Clues About the Words:

When the sun comes back

And the first quail calls

These are signs that winter is ending - when the days start getting longer, yet it is still cold.

Follow the Drinkin Gourd.

For the old man is waiting for to carry you to freedom,

If you follow the Drinking Gourd

Some people think the old man was Peg Leg Joe, a carpenter who reportedly traveled throughout the deep south

The river bank makes a mighty good road,

The dead trees show you the way.

Left foot, peg foot, traveling on

Follow the Drinking Gourd

The river bank here is the river bank of the Tombigbee River in Mississippi."Left foot, peg foot" talks about marks that were placed on dead trees along the river bank. If Peg Leg Joe did create this song, perhaps he left his mark on the trees. …

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